News in brief

Highways change

The Highways Agency has been given a new congestion-busting role, it emerged this week. The agency’s brief will include the use of technology to improve information for drivers. Roads Minister Lord Whitty said the focus would shift away from road building towards managing the existing road network more efficiently.

JCB in America

British excavator manufacturer JCB is to set up a US factory. Work on the 46,450m2 site, near Savannah, Georgia, will start immediately. Production of the company’s backhoe loaders is due to start there late next year.

GM offshoot to float

General Motors’ components division, Delphi Automotive Systems, is to be floated next year. Delphi, whose 1997 income totalled $1.2bn, has been a separate sector within General Motors since 1994.

Bus builders merge

Mayflower, the car and bus body maker, may bid for bus chassis builder the Dennis Group. Dennis last week agreed a £56m merger with Henlys, another bus body maker, in a deal that would put the merged group in the FTSE250 index.

BNFL works for US

BNFL Inc has won a $6.9bn contract from the US Department of Energy to clean up 177 underground waste storage tanks. The tanks, at a site in Hanfor, Virginia, contain 246 million litres of radioactive waste.